Rancher Royce McKinnon took his duties, as Nowhereís mayor very seriously. The fire that destroyed feed store owner Melvin Hendersonís trailer and took his life would have many aftershocks to come. Hendersonís Feed was almost bankrupt, and the store was a dilapidated eyesore thanks to alcoholic Hendersonís lack of care and squandering of his funds. Still it was Melvinís daughter, Heatherís inheritance and someone had to go to College Park and tell Heather of her fatherís death, and see about arranging Melvin's affairs. Royce had always looked out for headstrong Heather, especially once her mother left, and Heather had became a wild teenager. It was because of Royce that Heather was able to straighten out and attend college. Three years ago, Royce had gone to visit Heather. She was no longer a gangly teen but a very beautiful and desirable woman. The transformation had resulted in a strong attraction which saw Royce and Heather crossing the line from good friends after sharing some very passionate kisses. Royce intended to go forward with this new direction in his and Heatherís relationship until the accident. Then it became clear to Royce that he needed to stay far away from Heather so she could make a life for herself away from Nowhere, and without him!
Heather was stunned to find Royce at her home in College Park with news of her estranged fatherís death. It had been three years since those kisses she had shared with Royce, and then he had virtually disappeared from her life. Oh, there had been the obligatory Christmas and birthday cards and the generous checks that always came with them, but nothing to give Heather a clue as to why Royce had suddenly pulled away from her! Now he was here, and Heather could care less about her no account fatherís death or his funeral arrangements. Throwing Royce out, Heather has second thoughts, and decides to show Royce that he did and still does matter to her. Heather makes arrangements to complete her college credits by mail, and returns to Nowhere to try to make a go of the rundown feed store, much to Royceís dismay! Heather and Royce will have to sort out their problems and feelings with each other whether they like it or not, because Heather is refusing to leave until they do!
Marin Thomas writes another sweet, sensitive, and emotional story with her latest for Harlequin American, Homeward Bound. Angst filled characters Heather and Royce carry a lot of emotional baggage with them from their painful childhoods. The two had forged a friendship at a time of their lives that both needed it. This friendship had taken a turn towards something deeper, and Royce was forced because of unforeseen circumstances to break off from Heather. You will root for Heather in her fight to reestablish herself in her hometown, and for her and Royce to find the happiness they truly deserve!